Good afternoon! My name is Christine and we have emailed once before (about a year ago). You helped me so much though what seemed to be an enemy attack on my family and myself. In retrospect, the last year turned out to be my Red Sea, if you will. God lead me though so much...the death of my father, the near collapse of my marriage, a court case and two months best described as a dark night of the soul. It was in mourning the death of my father a year ago, that broke me open in a way only grief can do. As I look back over the last year, and I can see the work that God did, the beauty leaves me without words. It was as if every pain only made His voice more clear. My only regret is that I did not journal as much as I should have. My memory is fading even now. I suppose that's what having four kids does. : )
I have so enjoyed your blog (and recently, your book!) because my husband was very firm in his agnostic (I suppose...I could never quite pin him down), anti-religion ways and would visibly bristle when God was brought up. This summer something happened that, aside from my mom and my pastor (because he was witness to part of it!), probably only you and Dineen would believe. I just have to share it with you...
Things had gotten bad between us, marriage-wise. The children and I left for a week long beach vacation, mid-June, and he didn't come with, deciding last minute he was too busy. While we were there, on the last day, I was able to escape to the beach for a little time alone. I really needed to sit and speak with Jesus. The beach wasn't crowed and I felt free to talk, cry, really open up and tell Jesus I couldn't do it anymore. I'd been hearing Joel 2:25 from Him (the verse about being repaid for the years the locusts have eaten), so I was certain God was going to make good on that, but I poured it out to Jesus and told Him it had to be soon. I reminded Him of how difficult my life had been since becoming an adult (with the last year being the kicker), and how I so trusted that God would make good on this promise, but could He please start now? I will never forget how desperate I felt when I sat on that beach and begged for Jesus to ask this of His Father on my behalf. I'd never asked anything in that way. When I was done, I felt Jesus tell me to go into the ocean, almost as a re-baptismal. With that, I got up and started packing everyone to go home.
I had no clue what was waiting for me when I got home. My husband told me that night, the marriage was over. He had thought about it, and had it all planned out. Long story short....despite the fact I could hear Jesus loud and clear in my head and heart, saying, "Let him go...I have work to do" I could only maintain that for about 12 hours before I crashed. I just fell apart. It was horrible. I begged my husband not to go. I promised anything and everything. An odd thing I know, why wouldn't us staying together be what God wanted...I wasn't sure, but God needed to do His work in His own way. I met with my Pastor, and asked him what was wrong with me and where was my faith? I knowingly would rather make the decision to stand in God's way, than to feel this horrible pain and allow my husband to leave. Why couldn't I get out of the way??? I knew God had work to do in both of us, and I was keeping it from happening, but by then we were back together and my husband had decided to try one more time.
By mid-July, I'd come to realize what I'd done by standing in God's way. This time I promised Him, if He ever saw fit to give me a second chance, no matter how painful, I would trust in Him and not back down to my horrible fears. Within three days, things were so bad, that I felt in my heart it was time. I told my husband he was right, it was best if we separate and the kids and I traveled to my mom's house. I felt a peace about things I couldn't explain. I felt like the storm was swirling all around me, but God gave me such a sense of protection and peace.
Sit down because here comes the good part!
Our God is an awesome God!
He moved in ways no one saw coming. About two days later, my husband...Mr. Marine, tough guy, who couldn't even say the word God, texted me at 5am. He'd been up all night. He wanted to start again, but this time in church. I never saw this one coming...so to be honest I didn't even believe it. I had a sense of peace about it...like it wasn't just a line...but still. Sure enough, a few days later my husband met with the Pastor and when we got home later that week, he went to church with us. He's been every single week since then (except while on vacation), started seeing a therapist by himself - FAITH BASED therapy!, is working through a faith based marriage book with me the therapist recommended, and, here is the kicker, when a visiting missionary couple came to the church a couple of weeks ago, said he'd like to do a missions trip...and started looking up the info. I don't know what God has in store from here, but I have never been so certain of God's love for His children. The God Who Sees...He saw me on that beach that day...
Which brings me to today! A friend at church and I have been thinking of beginning a group for women at church who are spiritually mismatched. We've been talking about it for a while...but are finally putting it into action and meeting with the Director of Spiritual Growth. She thinks it's a great idea, as does the Pastor...but I am wondering if you will add us to your list of groups to pray for?
May God bless you Lynn. You are truly amazing. Thank you for your blog, book, everything...you just don't know how much support you've given to people like me! : )